Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Changing from Pirated to Permitted Software.

Changing from Pirated to Permitted Software

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 7, 2017)

Sindee found out recently that the copy of Microsoft Office installed on her computer was a pirated copy. She purchased a new copy, removed the pirated program, installed the newly purchased software, but discovered that the product key from the pirated version remains on her computer. She is now unable to download any updates to the program and wonders how to fix the situation.

Product keys for Microsoft Office are stored in the Windows Registry. If you want to install a copy of Office that uses a different product key, then you need to delete the place in the Registry where the product key is stored. You do that by following these general steps:

  1. Exit Word.
  2. Start your favorite Registry editor.
  3. Locate the following data key. (This data key, as shown below, is for Word 2007. If you are using a different version of Word, the 12 portion of the key will be different.)
  4.      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Registration
    
  5. Delete the Registration data key. (Just right-click on it and choose Delete.)
  6. Close the Registry editor.

These steps are the "quick and simple" steps to get rid of the product key. Understand that you should not follow these steps if you have multiple versions of Office installed on the same system. In that case, you'll want to follow the more detailed steps outlined in these Knowledge Base articles:

http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=895456
https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Change-your-Office-product-key-d78cf8f7-239e-4649-b726-3a8d2ceb8c81

When you start an Office application, you will then have the opportunity to enter the new product key. If you prefer, you can uninstall Microsoft Office before you do the Registry editing, and then reinstall the software from scratch.

If you don't feel comfortable editing the Windows Registry or if you run into other problems doing the uninstall, you can try a free utility such as Revo Uninstaller:

http://www.revouninstaller.com/

The program is much more thorough in its cleaning capabilities than is the regular Windows Uninstaller. It can get rid of all vestiges of Microsoft Office, and then you can reinstall the software with no problems.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9226) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Changing from Pirated to Permitted Software.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Using a Numeric Portion of a Cell in a Formula

If you have a mixture of numbers and letters in a cell, you may be looking for a way to access and use the numeric portion of ...

Discover More

Single-Use Drop-Down List

Want to create an easy drop-down list? You can do so by using the data validation features of Excel.

Discover More

Clearing Everything Except Formulas

Need to get rid of everything in a worksheet except for your formulas? You can do it rather easily by applying the ideas in ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Hiding and Displaying Hidden Text

You can easily hide text by simply changing the attributes associated with the text. Once that is done, you can turn the ...

Discover More

Unwanted Font in Draft View

Word supports different ways of viewing your document as you work with it. One of those views, Draft, can use a specific font ...

Discover More

Nifty Zooming with the Mouse

Want to use the mouse to control the zoom level for your document? You can do it by combining your mouse use with the Ctrl ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is five more than 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.